Dakar Rally drivers get green light to register for historic race in Saudi Arabia

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Racers gearing up to take part in the grueling Dakar Rally being staged in Saudi Arabia were on Thursday given the green light to submit their applications. (SPA)
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Racers gearing up to take part in the grueling Dakar Rally being staged in Saudi Arabia were on Thursday given the green light to submit their applications. (SPA)
Updated 17 May 2019

Dakar Rally drivers get green light to register for historic race in Saudi Arabia

  • Preparations for the famous motorsport event are already well underway, with 330 vehicles representing 60 nations expected to take part
  • It will be the first time the Dakar Rally is held in the Middle East

RIYADH: Racers gearing up to take part in the grueling Dakar Rally being staged in Saudi Arabia were on Thursday given the green light to submit their applications.
The Kingdom’s General Sports Authority (GSA) announced that drivers wishing to participate in the 2020 race, can register through the rally’s official website at https://competitors.dakar.com
Preparations for the famous motorsport event are already well underway, with 330 vehicles representing 60 nations expected to tackle the punishing 9,000 km route between Jan. 5 and 17.
The race will consist of four categories, namely motorbikes, quads, cars and trucks. Participants will start in Jeddah, passing through a vast area taking in the Saudi Red Sea Project (a luxury tourism development) and the futuristic $500 billion NEOM megacity scheme, the most ambitious building program in the world.
Drivers will then enter the northwestern city of Hail, as part of Hail International Rally, before reaching Riyadh, where they will rest for a day.
From the Saudi capital, the rally will speed off to the Eastern Province, heading through the Empty Quarter desert before the race ends at Al-Qiddiya.
The first edition of the race, which will run in the Kingdom for 10 years, is being jointly organized by the GSA, the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation and Amaury Sport Organization.
It will be the first time the Dakar Rally is held in the Middle East and the race is set to be the largest, longest, hardest and most exciting in its 40-year history.
The annual multi-stage rally has been held in South America since 2009 after being relocated from Africa due to terrorist threats in Mauritania, which led to its cancelation in 2008.
Dakar director, David Castera, has described the relocation to Saudi Arabia as “a voyage into the unknown.” He added: “By going to Saudi Arabia, it is of course that aspect that fascinates me.”


Saudi minister hails ‘special relationship’ with Japan

Updated 22 October 2019

Saudi minister hails ‘special relationship’ with Japan

  • “We share common values,” said Majid Al-Qasabi

TOKYO: Saudi Arabia has a “special relationship” with Japan, which is “reliable strategic partner and friend” of the Kingdom, the Saudi Minister for Commerce and Investment Majid Al-Qasabi said on Monday.

The minister was speaking at the launch in Tokyo of the Japanese-language online edition of Arab News, in the latest stage of its global expansion. The event came on the eve of Tuesday’s ceremonial enthronement of Emperor Naruhito in the Japanese capital. “This is a great opportunity, a moment in history,” Al-Qasabi said.

The news website, published in Japanese and English, will focus on enabling the exchange of information between Japan and the Arab world in business, current affairs, and arts and culture. “It will be good to have news in Japanese so many Japanese can read about the Arab world,” Japan’s Defense Minister Taro Kono said at the launch.

Common values

“We share common values, we have a high respect for the elders and we think that the family is very important … to me we are friends and I think we need to work together.

“In order to do that we need to know what people in the Middle East are actually thinking, what is happening on a daily basis, and we haven’t got the source for that — but now Arab News is in Japan.

“This is a very good means to exchange information between the Middle East and Japan, so I am very much looking forward to it.”